N’Golo Kante picked up his Football Writers’ Player of the Year award on Thursday night following a second successive outstanding campaign in the Premier League.
The indefatigable French midfielder, who also won this season’s PFA Player of the Year award earlier this month, was presented with the accolade at The Landmark Hotel in London.
One of the things that makes Kante so universally popular, aside from his incredible ability, is his modesty. And the 26-year-old displayed his humble side once again with his FWA speech.
“It's special because I couldn't even say I'm the best player but it's very special and a great honour,” Kante, who collected more than 65 per cent of the journalists’ votes, was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail. “It's not only me. I owe so much to my team-mates because we have achieved so much together this season and we still have the FA Cup.
“It is very special, a few years ago I was playing in the French lower divisions. Five years ago I wasn't even professional so to receive this kind of award means I am the kind of player I cannot even imagine being here.”
Kante praised by Jennings and Souness
Former FWA winner Pat Jennings introduced Kante after his latest award win and joked that he wanted the France international to leave Chelsea for Tottenham this summer.
"Remarkable. Leicester last year, Chelsea this. Don't suppose you fancy Tottenham next season?" the former Spurs goalkeeper said.
Graeme Souness, meanwhile, said: "He's brave as a lion and I'm sure he's a pain in the arse to play against. Well done pal, you're fabulous.”
What Chelsea did after Kante's first training session
Chelsea’s technical director Michael Emenalo also gave a speech in honour of Kante.
And during that speech, the Nigerian revealed what happened after Kante’s first training session with his current employers.
Per the Mirror’s Darren Lewis, Emenalo said: "After Kante's first training session with us the players hugged him and we sent Leicester flowers."
Flowers? Surely that was just rubbing salt into Leicester’s wounds.
Kante move was a game-changer for Chelsea and Leicester
Claudio Ranieri was desperate to hold onto Kante, who played a starring role in the Foxes’ remarkable Premier League title triumph last season, but the player decided he wanted to compete for major honours at Stamford Bridge.
Leicester’s huge loss has been Chelsea’s massive gain - and Ranieri’s amusing reaction after seeing Kante for the first time earlier this season summed up just how much those at the King Power Stadium were missing the player Frank Lampard described as the “best midfielder in the world” back in March.
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